Unemployment figures still cause for concern - MP

A woman looking into the window of a job centre.
A woman looking into the window of a job centre.

Despite a welcome fall in Barnsley’s unemployment rate, a Dearne MP remains concerned by figures released by the Office of National Statistics.

Figure show that overall, unemployment in Barnsley has fallen. But long-term unemployment is at the same level as earlier this year.

In January 955 people in Barnsley East had been unemployed for 12 months or more, and the figure is now back at that level. Since August 2011, long term unemployment in Barnsley East has almost doubled.

Within the local authority statistics show that long-term youth unemployment since August 2011 has risen 188 per cent.

Furthermore, after inflation, average earnings in Yorkshire are £1,721 a year lower than they were at the time of the last General Election - a real terms fall of 8.1 per cent. The average decrease across the UK is £1,350, meaning that workers in the UK are on average earning the same today as in 2001.

But people in Yorkshire are even worse off, earning £371 less than the average loss.

Mr Dugher said “Living standards in Barnsley are hit hard. In real terms, after inflation, people are earning on average £1,721 a year less than at the time of the election. Long-term unemployment in Barnsley East has almost doubled in two years and in the same time long-term youth unemployment in Barnsley has increased by 188 per cent. These figures are still worryingly high.

“I’m also concerned that there is simply not enough work to go round and the proof is a record high in the number of part-time workers looking for full-time jobs. Under-employment and falling living standards are of real concern for many across Barnsley and the country.

“We need a recovery that benefits everyone. Labour wants to help to make work pay by introducing a lower 10p starting rate of tax, paid for by a mansion tax, and to repeat the tax on bank bonuses to pay for a compulsory jobs guarantee for young people.”